San Sebastián
Culture & History

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Our most recommended San Sebastián Culture & History

From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

1. From Bilbao: Loyola, Getaria, Zarauz and San Sebastian Tour

See villages trapped in between mountains like the villages of Durango, Eibar and Elgoibar! Arrive at the core of the province, and after the industrial village of Azkoitia, you will arrive at your first stop, the Sanctuary of Loyola, hometown of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. Here you will visit the Basilica and the tower house where he was born and lived. Depending on the time, you may wish to attend a ceremony. Next you follow the route towards the coast on the north, passing through Azpeitia. You will also pass through Zestoa, a famous natural spa village with healing waters that attracted the royalty of Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Later you will arrive to the coast at Zumaia, a beautiful village very much appreciated by Basque summer tourists. Following the coastal road you will arrive at your next stop, Getaria. A unique medieval fishing village and hometown of famous figures like captain Juan Sebastian Elcano (the first man to travel around the world by sea), and Cristobal Balenciaga, the famous designer. Then you will pass by Zarauz, a beautiful tourist spot with the largest beach in the province of Gipuzkoa. You will arrive finally to San Sebastian (or Donostia) where you will do a panoramic tour of the city. After lunch, you will do a walking tour into the old quarter visiting the most interesting streets and locations before returning to Bilbao in the evening. Follow the highway towards the east, into the province of Gipuzkoa. On the way to the Sanctuary of Loyola, you will be able to admire the areas of inner Basque Country, combined with rural valleys and industrial

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San Sebastian: Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Evening Tour

2. San Sebastian: Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Evening Tour

Join a curated San Sebastian pintxos tour to discover the city’s best pintxos bars in the old town while you learn the local ways of dining out and how to enjoy the Basque way of eating (and drinking!) Along the way, learn the fascinating history of the region’s complex and unique cuisine and culture, as you weave in and out of its mystery-filled streets. Begin the evening in true local style with some crisp local cider and delicious seafood pintxos. Move on to acorn-fed Iberian ham, as well as the local variety. Taste the best anchovies in the country, the most delicious local beef, seared local cod, suckling pig, and more. Dive into hand-picked hidden taverns serving delicious and unique house specialties– from traditional local favorites to gourmet modern creations - you’ll try them all. Wash the pintxos down with excellent local wines, ciders, and more. Gain an understanding of the local culture and history– which is plentiful in the Basque Country and San Sebastian as you fill your mind as well as your belly. Receive a free mini-guide, which is packed with all of the guide's favorite places to eat and drink in the city, so you’ll be eating well for the rest of your stay!

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San Sebastián: 2-Hour Walking Tour with Pintxo and Drink

3. San Sebastián: 2-Hour Walking Tour with Pintxo and Drink

Explore San Sebastián like a local on a 2-hour walking tour with a local guide. Meet at the kiosk on Alameda del Boulevard in the morning or late afternoon, depending on your preferred departure time. See 15 of the most significant sites in the romantic Old Town area, and learn more about the people and culture of the Basque Country and the beautiful city along the way. End with a tasting of a typical snack from the Basque Country and experience the pintxo tradition of eating small dishes with a drink.

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From Bilbao: San Sebastian and Gipuzkoa Coast Tour

4. From Bilbao: San Sebastian and Gipuzkoa Coast Tour

Explore the stunning sights of San Sebastian, one of Europe’s most charming cities just an hour away from Bilbao, famous for its high quality food and pintxos, a traditional Spanish snack. Start the day with a wander around the city with your expert guide and learn about the area and the locals. Refuel your energy with a stop for some pintxos and a refreshing drink to keep you going throughout the day. Next, visit a number of small fishing villages on the coast, including Orio, Getaria, and San Telmo, and get to know the locals and their traditional way of life.

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From San Sebastian: Lourdes Private Full-Day Tour

5. From San Sebastian: Lourdes Private Full-Day Tour

Departing from Donostia-San Sebastian, you'll visit the Sanctuary of Lourdes in France. You'll have time for the principal mass in the basilica, time to pray, go to see the cave, get some water, walk around the sanctuary and visit Bernadette's house. It will be an exclusive and complete private guided tour and you will be the only people on the tour. Thr driving time is roughly 2 hours in each drection and you'll have around 4.5 hours to spend exploring Lourdes. Departure times can be arranged and adjusted as you wish due to this being a private tour.

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Rioja: Private Wine Tasting Tour

6. Rioja: Private Wine Tasting Tour

This tour is designed to guide you into one of the oldest traditional "cave-cellars" in the area, dug 7-8 meters (23-26 feet) deep under the houses. This is a fabulous experience not to be missed! This activity also includes  tasting wines in one of the most famous local wineries. You can also tour 'Marques del Riscal' winery cellar/hotel, which was designed by Frank Gehry, the architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. You will also walk along the medieval streets of Laguardia, one of the most charming towns in La Rioja area, before discovering local home-made food for lunch in an off the beaten track, non touristy restaurant.

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Bilbao, Guggenheim and San Juan de Gaztelugatxe Tour

7. Bilbao, Guggenheim and San Juan de Gaztelugatxe Tour

The province of Vizcaya has hundreds of charming places but it is difficult to find one that exceeds San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, located between Bermeo and Bakio. You will discover the history of the Hermitage of Gaztelugatxe while climbing the 241 stairs that lead to it, and get to know Bilbao, its old part, and the banks of the Nervión river, before finally visiting the Guggenheim Museum. Enjoy a pintxo meal along the way paired with Rioja wines and relax on the small group size tour with our expert guide who will show you the treasures of Vizcaya geography. Itinerary: Departure at 9:00 AMArrival at 10:30 AM to Gaztelugatxe and departure at 12:00-12:30PMFrom 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM head to Bilbao. You will have the chance to eat pintxos either before, during or after this visit (4 pintxos and 4 wines)Visit Guggenheim from 3:30 PM until 5:00 PM.6:00 PM: arrive in San Sebastián

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From San Sebastian: Flavors of French Basque Country Tour

8. From San Sebastian: Flavors of French Basque Country Tour

Embark on a guided gastronomic adventure through the French Basque Coast of Iparralde, one of the most picturesque regions on the Atlantic Coast. Explore the seaside villages of Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz & Guethary and sample its local specialties. Be introduced to the history of the area. Meet your guide in the morning. Enjoy a spectacular drive along the corniche basque to Saint Jean de Luz. Start your culinary journey with a visit to the local ‘affineur’, an expert who receives cheese from producers and holds it in their shop until it’s ready to eat. Sample a selection of ‘raised’ by affineur cheeses. Sip French Basque wine from Irulegui. Next up, take a stroll along the streets of the town listening to the thrilling stories of local pirates, corsairs, sailors and fisherman. Enjoy free time to visit the 13th-century church of St. John the Baptist with its remarkable hull-shaped wood-paneled vault. If you'd like to try local foie gras, be taken to a farm store stocked with this French delicacy. To complete your trip to Saint Juan de Luz, visit the pastry shop where macarons were first created in 1660. Buy these confections and head to the surfing and food paradise of Biarritz. After having a glimpse of the Biarritz lighthouse, continue to Les Halles neighborhood and its vibrant food market. Visit the market’s most-loved bar where locals stop for a seafood aperitif while shopping. Explore the area like a local by trying oysters, shrimps, and snails from Arcachon. Pair your meal with a glass of great white wine from Bordeaux. Then, discover the truffle heaven, a bar specializing in truffle-flavored charcuterie and gourmet products from the region. Next, make some room for pintxos. From Biarritz, go back to the other side and explore the picturesque fishing village of Hondarribia. Taste some of the best pintxos in an award-winning restaurant. Learn about modern Basque cuisine and discuss the differences between French Basque and Spanish Basque food. At the end of the day, return to San Sebastian with a full belly and lots of memories.

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From San Sebastian: Pamplona & Olite Royal Palace Tour

9. From San Sebastian: Pamplona & Olite Royal Palace Tour

Your tour begins with pickup at your hotel in San Sebastian. After a short 1.5-hour drive, you will arrive at the Royal Palace of Olite, where you will have 2 hours to explore this fascinating site. Following the castle visit, you will head to Pamplona where you will first sit down for a 2-course meal for lunch. Following this, you will begin sightseeing to some of the most famous spots of the city, including the running of the bulls path (where the world wide famous San Fermin festivities take place, the city hall square and the cathedral. After a day full of activities, your tour will return back to San Sebastian where you will be dropped off at your hotel or any other spot of your convenience.

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San Sebastian: Guernica, Mundaka, Urdaibai and Bermeo Tour

10. San Sebastian: Guernica, Mundaka, Urdaibai and Bermeo Tour

After being collected from your hotel, your tour kicks off and heads toward Gernika. Your first stop will be to the Guernica Peace Museum, where you will learn all about the tragic bombing that took place there during the Spanish civil war. Following this, you will advance towards Mundaka. Once there you will discover a quaint village on the coastline, famous for it's surfing waves that attract professional surfers from all over the world. Your final stop will be Bermeo, a traditional fishing village that showcases the Basque coastline lifestyle at it's best. Your tour will then end as you are dropped off at your hotel or other location of your convenience in San Sebastian.

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Other Sightseeing Options in San Sebastián

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What people are saying about San Sebastián

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 30 reviews

Hector was an amazing guide. As he’s a local to San Sebastián he gave us just the right amount of history and daily life & culture to really get to grips with this fabulous city. The food on the tour was excellent , super fresh and varied. We wouldn’t have had the ability to experience these little unknown family run restaurants unless you had a guide. Also as we don’t have Spanish never mind Basque (local dialect) it made it all effortless. Hector guided us through the warren of beautiful and fascinating little streets while pointing out hidden places and of course we had lots of food and drinks along the way. This tour is a must while in San Sebastián ........ thanks Hector

Beautiful scenery. interesting to know about the geo system. Excellent Guide well prepared and well informed. Speaks good English. Be prepared for ups and downs hills. Must wear good shoes for walking.

Angel is a great guide, his explanations are excellent and the visit to the geopark together with the views that there are are one of the things you must do in San Sebastián

Our guide (Stefan) was extremely pleasant and informative. We felt the tour was very good value and a great introduction to Basque culture.

Fascinating tour with a very knowledgeable and interesting guide. Highly recommended.